Gwyneth Paltrow’s health advice: don’t eat for 12 hours, restrict food

Gwyneth Paltrow still has not updated her aptly-named site, Goop, after launching it five weeks ago with only a single self-important personal statement under its multiple sections: Make, Go, Get, Do and See. She has sent out an e-mail to her mailing list, though, that gives advice from her hand picked experts on how to eat, exercise, and live so that we may all become as healthy, super thin and enlightened as she is.

Gwyneth includes a brief personal statement in the beginning of the e-mail about how her life changed after her father’s cancer diagnosis and subsequent passing. She seems to have coped with her loss by severely controlling her diet and exercising to exhaustion in an attempt to avoid getting sick like her father. She then gives us her doctors’ advice on how to feel better by limiting carbs and sugar, exercising, and going on detox diets.

In 1998, I was filming The Talented Mr. Ripley in Ischia, a little island off the coast of Naples in Italy. I got a call that changed my life. My father had been diagnosed with throat cancer, and it was stage four. Although he underwent treatment and survived for another four years, I watched his health deteriorate slowly until his death in 2002. During this time I began to read about Eastern medicine and the body’s capacity to heal itself. I tried to get my father on board — with mixed results. He loved acupuncture but hated macrobiotic food, which he likened to “biting into The New York Times.” I had read somewhere that in Asia, the concept of going to the doctor when you were already sick was akin to digging a well when you were already thirsty. This struck a chord with me. Over the years I have had my share of medical issues, as we all do. Recently I have found three doctors (one in London, one in New York and one in Los Angeles) who have helped me tremendously. Heeding their advice has helped me out of some very sticky health problems (pneumonia, anemia, stress, etc.). Below they offer their points of view and some ideas about how we can achieve our best health.
— Gwyneth Paltrow

Healthier By The Day

You want to feel healthier, everyone does. You want more energy, a better body and the ability to do what you do better. Like most other people, you’ve listened to the experts, read their advice and never been sure which of it applied to you or was really worth doing. That’s because the things that help you get healthier are usually unique to you. There is no universal plan for better health, no best diet, workout routine or way of solving problems. As unique as you are, there are some guidelines you can follow that will help improve your health:

Start with sleep. Sleep eight hours or more each night. Do what you have to do to get to sleep; there are plenty of natural agents that work. Try them: herbs (valerian), tea (chamomile), amino acids (tryptophan or hydroxy-tryptophan) and vitamins (magnesium and B6). These can be powerful sedatives and work just as well as prescription agents without the risks. Sleep plays a powerful role in determining your appetite, energy and attitude. Sleep better for two weeks before changing your diet. Then try eliminating “white” foods, those that are made with sugar, white flour and milk. If you eliminate them one at a time, start with flour, then eliminate dairy and then sugar. Sugar is easier to quit after a few weeks of no other “white” stuff. Remember high fructose corn syrup and dextrose are sugar by another name. Give yourself about two weeks to get used to each before eliminating the next one.

Exercise regularly. I know you want to but you don’t have the energy to do it. Sleep eight hours for two weeks, then start eliminating “white” foods. After two weeks of sleeping and eating better, you’ll have the energy to exercise. Begin as you like. If you are totally out of shape, start by walking 15 minutes a day and add a minute every day for the first month. At the end of a month, you’ll be up to 45 minutes a day, which should make you ready for whatever more strenuous form of exercise you want to try. Experiment with them all to see what works best for you and stick with it.

Police your thoughts and deal with your feelings constructively. Most of the background chatter in our mind is worrying, judging, criticizing, defending and complaining. Catch yourself and create a distraction by redirecting your thoughts toward the things that you are grateful for and optimistic about.

All these are free (okay, except if you have to buy the sleepers) and all are within your ability. No professionals required. By doing them you will create a customized health plan that will surely result in you getting healthier by the day.

Christian Renna, D.O. LifeSpan Medicine, 2008

Dr. Christian Renna is a nationally recognized expert in the field of contemporary preventive medicine and the founder of LifeSpan Medicine clinics.

Another Inconvenient Truth

The human body is a self-healing, self-renewing, self-cleansing organism. When the right conditions are created, vibrant well-being is its natural state. We have departed from the ways of nature and live under less than natural conditions. Like global warming, the toxicity of our planet is undeniable. I call it “Another Inconvenient Truth.” The air we breathe, the water we drink and shower with, the foods we eat, the cosmetics we use and the buildings we live and work in, are loaded with toxic chemicals that alone or in combination cause disease, suffering and even death. When we remove these obstacles and add what is lacking, our bodies bounce back into health as if by magic. This is natural, common-sense medicine, enabling the body to heal, regenerate and even rejuvenate itself.

With this in mind, if you live in a modern city and want to stay healthy, there are two fundamental practices to follow: detoxification cleansing and eating real foods, just as nature intended food to be.
1) Detoxification cleansing:

Approximately eight hours after eating our last meal the processes of digestion, absorption and assimilation are completed and the body enters into detoxification mode, a function we don’t think about often. A healthy body, used to eating natural foods, needs around four hours to cleanse and detoxify itself from all the waste products of normal metabolism. This is without counting the toxic overload of modern life. It’s a really good practice to fast every day for 12 hours after our last meal: eight hours to complete food processing plus four to allow for detoxification. So if your last meal is at 10pm, don’t eat anything before 10am. Breakfast should be exactly that, break-fast, or breaking the fast. This would be enough in a toxin-free world. Since that is not the case, we should periodically make an extra effort to go deeper and catch up with the cleaning, as it were. This is where detox cleansing programs come into play. There are many programs available today based on different systems and philosophies of healing. Some are great, some dangerous. Make sure someone who understands and has experience guides you.

How often and for how long one should engage in detox programs depends on how clean one is to begin with. In addition to all of the above, one should educate oneself as to how to keep our environment toxin-free. Water and air filters, eco-cleaning utensils, chemical free cosmetics, green architecture, alternative fuel vehicles….
2) Real foods:

We used to pick our food from trees and the earth, and hunt or fish the rest. Now we buy it in modern supermarkets. Ninety percent of the products in supermarkets come in some kind of container. In order to extend shelf life, these food-like products are loaded with chemicals, preservatives and conservatives that kill bacteria. Most products also contain additives to give them the color, smell, taste and texture that will tempt us to buy and eat them. The remaining 10% of what is edible – the produce, the fish, the meats and the dairy products – are loaded with chemicals as well. All of these chemicals cause havoc inside our bodies, being the most intimate source of toxins for us since we throw this mixture in our bellies and soon enough it passes into our blood.

Returning to a more natural way of eating is the best way to avoid disease and premature aging. It also keeps the weight off. Buy organic foods, shop in your local farmer’s markets. Increase the consumption of vegetables, fruits, seeds, grains and legumes. More raw foods are better for health (enzymes remain intact), the environment (smaller carbon footprint) and the pocket (lower utility bills).

To round things up, don’t forget to nourish your soul. The future of medicine is “no medicine.” If we return to a more natural life, our bodies become the best doctors.

With love,
Alejandro Junger, MD

Dr. Alejandro Junger is a cardiologist who practices integrative healing. He currently sees patients in his private practice at the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York and, in 2008, he was named the Director of Integrative Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital.

Holistic Detox

My journey with nutrition came from looking after performance artists and dancers who were trying to find a healthy balance between diet, looking good and having enough energy to perform. I use the age-old wisdom of ayurvedic medicine, the holistic approach of osteopathic medicine and basic common sense to help patients realize how to achieve their own optimum health. The older, more natural forms of medicine work predominantly on promoting and improving the body’s ability to eliminate waste (detoxification) and also towards finding balance and well-being. My motivation is towards not only the nutritional needs of a healthy body, but also on encouraging better sleep patterns, ways of coping with stress and reducing its effects on the body, and teaching individuals how to care for themselves and make healthy lifestyle choices: the true mind-body-spirit sense of health and well-being.

My first bestselling book, Joshi’s Holistic Detox explains in more detail the fundamentals of my detox and dietary program, but its essence lies in:

* Avoiding all refined carbohydrates including white flour and sugar
* Avoiding all foods with chemical preservatives and flavorings including foods that contain toxic elements (such as heavy metals, e.g. tuna)
* Drinking at least one to two liters of pure water daily to help the body clean and detoxify itself
* Eating fruit and vegetables that are ripe, fresh and as free of chemical fertilizers as possible
* Minimizing tea, coffee, dairy products, and alcohol
* Boosting your health and vitality with a diet rich in organic, ripe fruits and vegetables.
* Eating protein such as white fish or white meats with each meal
* Sleeping at least eight hours a night and practicing some gentle exercise, yoga or meditation every day to reduce the effects of stress on the body.

Neish Joshi, Joshi Clinic

Dr. Neish Joshi is the founder of the Joshi Clinic in London, and has developed a unique approach in his practice, embracing centuries-old Indian traditions, ancient Ayurvedic wisdom and a wide variety of other healing philosophies from all over the world with both eastern and western approaches to orthodox medicine.

[Gwyneth Paltrow’s e-mail sent to subscribers, found on the Huffington Post]

I see what Gwyneth is saying and I know I feel better when I limit carbs and exercise. People have to find a diet and exercise plan that works for them though. Severely limiting the variety of foods that you eat and cutting out all dairy and sugar is not possible for everyone and can backfire. A more moderate realistic diet like Weight Watchers, Body for Life, The South Beach Diet, or The Zone can work for a lot of people and bring about greater health without severe restriction. Those are also diets that allow you to eat multiple small meals throughout the day without depriving yourself of treats so you don’t freak out and binge at night after starving all day.

This is a woman who was hospitalized earlier this year during a time in which she was on a fasting diet from a health food store. There were rumors that she had sadly suffered a miscarriage, but her friend chef Mario Batali said her illness was digestive in nature.

There are people who want to hear Paltrow’s advice, and they specifically opted in to her mailing list. It’s within everyone’s rights to start a mailing list about their interests and to give information to subscribers. Gywneth just seems so self-important though, and convinced that her way is the right way, that I’m left with even more of a negative impression of her.

Here’s Gwyneth at the London Film Festival on 10/20/08. Credit: WENN

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33 Responses to “Gwyneth Paltrow’s health advice: don’t eat for 12 hours, restrict food”

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  1. Kaiser says:


    But yeah, a lot of self-important bs. Is it good to eat lots of fruits and veggies? Sure. Is it good to exercise? Sure. Beyond that, I believe in eating whatever I want in moderation. Everybody’s different.

  2. geronimo says:

    I’m going to steal one of Gwynnie’s high-brow phrases here to sum up my feelings about this: background chatter. 🙄

    Kaiser – yeah, everything in modersation…or sometimes not, who cares? Bet most of us are 100 times happier and more content than this dreary woman.

  3. Kaiser says:

    G, totally. And I’ll cut a bitch if someone tries to take away my chocolate (at certain times of the month). 😛

    *making plans to go out trolling for reduced-price Halloween candy tomorrow morning*

  4. vdantev says:

    You can tell how healthy she is by the way the bones in her face stick out. 🙄

  5. sol says:

    Most people that cut foods usually feel sick when they eat a forbidden food.I hope she doesn’t make her kids restrict like that.Let them enjoy childhood 🙂

  6. Anne says:

    Oh, pruny face Gwyneth, give it up.

  7. cara says:

    I think Celebitchy was right on the other day in thinking there may of been a link in Joaquim’s decision to quit acting after working with this joyous human being.

    She seems like a ball of laughs.

  8. CJ says:

    I’ve followed Atkins for about 5 years and when I do cheat and eat a piece of cake or a slice of pizza it does make my tummy hurt.

    And I understand the 12 hour detox thing, if I don’t get to eat dinner until 7pm I try and eat breakfast after 7am.

    But she looks very very thin to me and a little bit more fat on her would make her look a few years younger. It fills in the wrinkles on your face:lol:

    That’s how I know it’s time to eat a piece of cake, when I see DEEP wrinkles:lol: 😆 😆

  9. Codzilla says:

    Oh no! The cosmetic chemicals are coming to get us!

  10. ak says:

    There’s no way I’m giving up my baguettes and butter, so stop asking, doctors.

    Gwyneth, for all her mind-body-spirit work, doesn’t sound like a very happy or even energetic person. She and her pal Madonna may be in great shape, but they sound like two of the most joyless room-clearers on the planet.

  11. Vern says:

    I love how eating raw food is supposed to save us $$ by lowering our elctricity or gas bill. HAHA! I buy as much fresh organic as I can but it is insanely expensive.
    The ideas are lovely (except for the 12 hour no food thing)but, if you don’t have a nanny or a chef or unlimited funds it’s not completely doable! Try sleeping 8 hours when you have a sick kid.

  12. actingrc says:

    setting aside the iffy advice on “detoxing” the body, that advice about natural sleep aids is useless at best and negligent at worst. herbal remedies work because they contain chemicals, and those chemicals affect the body just like any prescription drug. valerian is great and effective for some people, but it like any other drug has a host of possible side effects and can lead to serious health complications in a number of people. just because it’s a plant doesn’t mean it’s safe. as an osteopath, dr. renna should know better – it’s in her job description to try to head off problems at the pass. she should have told people to consult a doctor or osteopath first.
    /end rant/

  13. geronimo says:

    @ak – so true, Goopy Drawers in particular. For all their talk, they both come across as utterly joyless and energy-sapping.

    Best cure for anyone having problems getting to sleep is to keep a copy of this newsletter by the bedside. Guaranteed dream-free coma within minutes.

  14. Larissa says:

    If you cut all sugars from your diet you will start having suicidal thoughts every 2 seconds! lol

    no wonder why this woman is living out of anti-depressive pills!

  15. RAN says:

    I can only imagine what it’s like to be a child in this woman’s household 😥

  16. jess says:

    the whole 12 hour fast thing is pretty interesting to me…if only i could remember when i ate last, last night. lol

  17. delilah says:

    Sigh………..there’s no such thing as detoxing…cut foods out of your diet if you like but the body detoxifies whether or not you eat or exercise or whatever. It is complete BS and the real doctors I work with despair of this fashion for detoxing. Guess what ladies…the 6-8 glasses of water a day is a lie too! It was originally stated by a renal/urologist who said we need that much fluid and he was clear that most of which we get from FOOD. A tip – if youre thirsty, have a drink….if your urine is not light in color, have a drink. The end.

  18. kate says:

    i agree with above comments – i believe in moderation, too. my advice: eat when you’re hungry, try to include something from each food group with every meal, exercise a bit each day, drink enough water so your urine is light yellow, remember fresh fruit is a good snack and don’t skimp on sleep. oh, and don’t forget to treat yourself once in a while or you will end up a humorless, hungry actress like gwynnie.

  19. Codzilla says:

    delilah: Amen to that. I’m so tired of these celebs regurgitating what their faux gurus have fed them, as if it’s the undisputed truth. When in reality, said gurus are just trying to fleece their rich, gullible clients of every possible penny. Buy this $3,000 supplement and your toxins will disappear! 🙄

  20. paris herpes says:

    I sort of follow this diet anyway, minus coffee…I LOVE coffee! I limit myself 2 cups max a day. Otherwise, I’m super jittery. Substitute it with green tea if you’re trying to get off the caffeine in coffee. It does help.

  21. Granger says:

    I just can’t imagine having the kind of ego Gwyneth obviously has. I mean, she honestly believes she’s some sort of expert on health and happiness! What’s more, I can’t imagine who would sign up for this newsletter. How fame-obsessed and delusional do you have to be to trust what a self-absorbed actress has to say about how to live life????

  22. Erin says:

    a day without cheese is like a day without sunshine.

  23. Tina says:

    My diet is already a lot like this, except I love my coffee and occasional sweet treats made with flour, milk, butter, and sugar.

    I had to eat healthier in order to conquer several years of really bad bulimia.

    And… I used to think Gwyneth was beautiful; she always seemed to channel a “coolest girl at prep school” kind of vibe.

    But now she looks kind of like a Tim Burtonesque undead bride.

  24. drm says:

    I think not being obsessive complusive about everything you put in your mouth, how much exercise you get and ‘detoxing’is the best way to life a fulfilling life actually

    I have news for Gwynnie…my grandmother smoked, drank and gave everyone around her holy hell for 90 some years. She was great, she was in excellent health aside from frailness that comes with old age and in full command of her mental faculties. Life is to be ENJOYED…and I completely agree, she and Madonna are the ‘fun police’…what a sanctimonious pair of wankers…no wonder Chris Martin is such an oddball…

  25. Di says:

    Her mother is prettier (even as Blythe Danner continues to age elegantly) and a better actress.

    Her advice is fine because it is so general as to be almost meaningless. Eat well and excercise more. Think positive thoughts. Gee, I’ve never heard that before!!!

    Gwyneth has always been conceited. She clearly thinks that if she tells you the same thing that a million of other people have said, it will be better because it comes from her.

    The problem is that this woman seems miserable so all the stuff she’s doing isn’t working. She seemed happy when she was with Brad Pitt and so did he. After they broke up neither she nor Pitt ever seemed genuinely happy again.

    I think Gwyneth and Brad are both spoiled brats, but I think they would have been happier if they’d stayed together.
    The more important

  26. mark says:

    In the 2nd photo she looks like she’s been fasting and having frequent bm’s.

  27. MB Travis says:

    The woman prefaced this health plan — though arguably wacky and elitist — by talking about how she was trying to deal with the death of her father. Shame on you for including it. That’s not snark.
    She’s a self-important twit, as we all know, but at least cull your quotes to leave out the dead father. That angle is not fair game. No matter how disgusting you find her.

  28. Michele says:

    Aneroxia is not a healthy diet.

  29. Candy Barr says:

    I don’t think she sounds “self important” at all . . . Though some of the tips in her piece don’t appear to be anything new, she is putting it out for her fans, is my guess, and not all the negative jealous gals on this posting.

    Heck, she doesn’t have a Ph.D. in how to eat, but is simply repeating things she obviously learned from her doctors. If there were so many extremely overweight people in this country, perhaps she wouldn’t feel the need to express this.

  30. Gwen says:

    I think she knows what she is talking about. the rest of you are either boring or FAT 😈

  31. Cleanse Body says:

    You have to wonder how many celebrities have similar advice and ways of looking good on camera all the time. Madonna does similar dieting and exercise routes from what I have read from Guy when they split up.

  32. Ayana says:

    Nice post! Keep up the good work

  33. Kara says:

    Gwyneth looks like Bill Nighy in the pic.